These In-Between Unearthly Worlds That Occupy My Being
29.11.2022 - 31.12.2022
Marie Civikov. Womb, 2022, oil, acrylic, canvas, 214 х 120 cm
Marie Civikov. Woman, 2022, oil, acrylic, canvas, pvc, cat hair, 48 x 35 cm
Marie Civikov. A Roof, 2021-2022, oil, acrylic, canvas, 222 x 270 cm
Marie Civikov. Herstory, 2022, oil, acrylic, canvas, 214 x 98 cm
Marie Civikov. In Search of Home, 2021-2022, oil, acrylic, table cloth, 50 x 51 cm
Opening Tuesday, November 29, 6-8 pm
In her work Marie Civikov explores her personal family history and confesses her feelings in the process of searching for her place within it.
Marie Civikov is the daughter of the Bulgarian dissident, writer and journalist Germinal Civikov. Her paternal lineage, originally from the city of Rousse in Bulgaria, intertwines the story of her Bulgarian anarchist grandfather and Austrian grandmother with the fate of her father, who spent three years in Bulgarian prisons for distributing posters with “slanderous allegations against the people’s power.” Following her mother’s lead, Marie Civikov had to overcome the geographical and mental distance to the Indonesian island of Java, part of a former Dutch colony where generations of children were born from Indonesian women and (Western) European colonisers.
In 2018, the artist presents the exhibition “On Track” at the independent space Æther Sofia, in which she explores her roots through the life of her grandfather Panayot Civikov, an anarchist, poet, novelist, and publicist who participated in the Spanish Civil War. Already in this project, she not only tells her own story, but connects it to the history of Bulgaria and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century, a history in which there was serious political and cultural turmoil.
In her current project she turns to her Indonesian-Dutch background. By researching letters, photographs and visiting the places of her ancestors, Marie Civikov builds a biography that is intertwined with world historical processes. At the heart of her explorations are the small and large stories written down by her grandmother of her upbringing as the child of an indigenous woman and a Westerner in colonized Indonesia in the first half of the twentieth century. This particular female lineage, which often begins with women from the island of Java who had children by European men, is very little documented. Their role in society has been subordinate and their voices have long remained unheard.
The exhibition includes paintings freely hanging in the space, which assemble the puzzle of a personal history, but also shed light on various world issues.